send it off, however. Sit down and spend time on the cards. I told you to be
thoughtful. Write a personal and honest message to the person to whom you
are sending the card. This gives the card a sentimental and real value, instead
of just a dumb ‘‘I sent you a card just to send you a card’’ feeling.
Keep your staff members in mind for opportunities that you are offered
or that you may have available. It’s not unusual for a company to hire a
qualified individual from their community staff to work for them on a full
time basis. If you get a book or product to review, but don’t want to review
it for whatever reason, consider passing it on to one of your staff members to
review (he or she can post the review on your site).
You can use your imagination to come up with other ways to be thought-
ful. It isn’t that difficult, and you should want to express your appreciation to
your staff members whenever you can.
Choosing Your Staff
Selecting new staff members is usually a pretty simple and straightforward
task. It’s the stuff that happens after that (when people show their true colors,
in some cases) that complicates matters.
If your site is new, ask people whom you know share an interest in the
subject matter of your community if they are interested in helping or know
anyone who would be interested. If your site is established, be on the lookout
for the most helpful, kind, and dedicated users in your community. An active
community can usually pull staff members right out of the member base.
Knowledge is good to have, yes, but kindness is infinitely more important.
These people will represent your community and you. In some communities
knowledge can be a requirement (such as support forums), but knowledge
without kindness isn’t any good to you.
Keep in mind that an invitation to join your staff is not some sort of
reward for posting a lot. You need to invite people whom you feel will repre-
sent you and your community well and can help you execute your goals for
the community. In other words, they will need to set an example and be ready
to work.
You shouldn’t invite people just because you think you need someone.
You shouldn’t have any user-to-moderator ratio in mind. Don’t worry about

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